"Wow, you're carrying wide!" and 5 trillion other rude things people say to pregnant women

"Are you getting enormous yet? You must be huge!" chirped my out-of-town friend breathlessly, almost giddily, when I answered her call last week.
"No, not too bad, so far, I mean..."
"Well, you know it's all downhill from here, right?"

I'm currently 30 weeks pregnant and among the many, many annoying issues I'd anticipated about this experience (monster boobs, hormone-induced lunacy, a waddling Wheeble walk), one aspect I was entirely unprepared for was how growing a tiny human in my stomach meant people could suddenly say whatever the hell they want to me.

The comments I've heard during the past 7 months have been rude, undermining, scary, and downright insulting-the kinds of the things you wouldn't say to a hated enemy, much less to someone you claim to like. Beyond the neverending weight/shape observations (when you're pregnant it's seriously open season on your body: "Wow, you're carrying wide!" "Well at least you're not fat in the face!"), I've been regaled with anecdotes about babies who didn't make it, who endured trauma during delivery, who were born months before they were ready. Each time, the storyteller wraps up with, "But I'm sure you're fine," or "Oh, that's not going to happen to you." Gee, thanks.

On top of these horror-story reporters and body snarkers are the "You'll see" folks, the experienced (or is it broken?) parents who give unsolicited advice, who need to impress upon you that your life is about to change in unimaginable ways, and that these ways will mostly suck. It's like "Oh, you like being alive now? You'll see." I've had mom friends explain that after I have a baby I'll have to find a new social group, because people without babies "don't speak the language " (is this a cult?). I've been told that in order to parent properly my husband and I will have to move from our Brooklyn apartment/buy a car/get rid of our cats and, my favorite, "Well, you know, you really can't have a baby without a washer and dryer." (There's a laundromat about a half block from my house.)

Truly, I can't think of another area in life where social boundaries and niceties are so flagrantly thrown out the window. Think about it. At no other time besides pregnancy is it considered OK to mention a woman's weight or completely question another adult's judgment about what are essentially personal decisions.

Still, the most startling part of all of this has been witnessing the delight strangers, friends, and family seem to derive from sharing negative feelings about pregnancy, birth, and baby-rearing. When people ask me, "Oh, you must be sooo ready for it to be done now! Isn't the end AWFUL?" or mention things like, "Yeah, just wait. The first few months are like Abu Ghraib. And your husband won't really help either," I realize they're just trying to bond. The problem is, in order to commiserate, both parties need to agree that the situation is miserable. And this is something I refuse to do. I waited a long time to get pregnant and my husband and I really want this baby. So, as uncomfortable and taxing and terrifying as gestating has sometimes been-and as challenging as I'm sure having an infant will be-I've tried to keep it in perspective, to stay grateful that I get the opportunity to build a baby and that this baby appears to be healthy. Perhaps my attitude will change once she's born. Perhaps I really will "see."
Honestly, I can't wait.